Doctor of Nursing Practice
"In addition to helping me build strong nursing leadership skills, my DNP degree has given me the background to work on building a program for our department—and hopefully carry it throughout the organization."
Jan Tomaino wasn’t actively seeking to further her education, but when she learned about the School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program’s specialty area in integrative health and healing she sought to learn more. After reviewing the curriculum, and learning that it was a joint offering with the Center for Spirituality and Healing, Tomaino said the program was extremely appealing. “I knew this was too good of a program to pass up,” said Tomanio. “My passion and work with holistic practices and nursing solidified my decision.”
After being accepted into the program, she discovered the professors were top-notch and appreciated that they stayed connected to the clinical world, as well as conducted research and had it published. “Every one of my professors contributed in some way to my successful and fulfilling education,” said Tomaino.
As a DNP student, she adapted, implemented and evaluated an aromatherapy program in a 12-bed hospice facility. “Essential oils were used as an adjunct to patients’ current treatment plans by way of diffuser, inhalation or hand massage for symptom management and to treat the whole person—body, mind and spirit,” said Tomaino. “Patient data was collected for three months and nurses were surveyed at the completion of the program to evaluate the program for effectiveness and sustainability.”
Tomaino currently is a hospice home care nurse in Duluth, Minn., where she has worked in the same organization for more than 23 years.
“I am working with the hospice administration to develop policies on integrative health and various practices such as aromatherapy that fall under that category. I am in the process of applying for a grant with support of our department leaders and providers to develop an integrative health program,” said Tomaino. “In addition to helping me build strong nursing leadership skills, my DNP degree has given me the background to work on building a program for our department—and hopefully carry it throughout the organization.”
Tomaino also owns a small business that she is working on expanding to offer consulting services for integrative health practices to nursing homes and assisted livings. “The DNP program has given me a lot of confidence and background to move forward with the goals,” she said.